3. Oladipo’s trade market was essentially non-existent
When the Rockets made the conscious decision to trade for Oladipo when dealing Harden to the Nets, the front office preferred flexibility over Caris LeVert, who would have been the center of the package outside of the picks and swaps. However, LeVert’s contract length and age did not fit with the team’s flexibility vision.
Oladipo was coming off a significant injury in which prior to this, he had his best season of his career. His two-way potential on both sides of the ball was something that the Houston Rockets needed to pair alongside John Wall and Christian Wood.
Fast forward to March 2021, the Houston Rockets were piling losses and it became quite clear that this team was on track to acquire a top-4 pick in the upcoming draft. This led to Oladipo being mentioned in trade rumor talks.
Much of these rumors were likely being fed from the inside by the Rockets front office to heat up the market ahead of the deadline, however this strategy failed to work for the team. Oladipo had one year left on his contract and it just did not make sense for teams to shell out talent for a possible rental.
On top of this, Oladipo’s play this season likely deterred teams from making a move for him. In his short stint with the Houston Rockets, he sat out on the second night of back-to-back games which made him a a high-risk player to chase.
Also, while Oladipo was averaging the second-highest amount of points per game in a season for his career, it was a rather inefficient year for the guard. On a career high 19.1 field-goal attempts per game, Oladipo was shooting 41 percent on the season.
A 2022 lottery-protected pick swap isn’t something for fans to get excited about, however they have to accept the fact that no team was willing to surrender anything of value in exchange for a one-year rental for a player who was having a sub-par performance this season.
Next: No. 2